DON’T LOSE HOPE

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

MARCH 27, 2024

TOPIC: DON’T LOSE HOPE

BY T. O. BANSO

As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more” (Psalm 71:14 New International Version).

One of the lessons one can learn from the story of Naomi, whose husband, Elimelech, and her two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, died in the land of Moab, is never to lose hope. No matter how seemingly hopeless a situation is, never lose hope. Never lose hope because God is in control. He will work all things together for your good (Romans 8:28). You may not know how and when, but He does. He is God; you are not.

Naomi was left with two childless daughters-in-law in Moab, their country. There are now three widows in the house! What a sad situation. Nobody to comfort her, and neither could she comfort or help the two widows with her. She felt hopeless.

Having heard that the famine in the land of Bethlehem which made her and her family migrate to Moab had ended, she decided to return. She must have thought that would make her situation better, particularly as her Moabite daughters-in-law would no longer be with her.

She told them, Go, return each to her mother’s house. The Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband” (Ruth 1:8-9 New King James Version). It was an emotional scene as she kissed them, and they lifted their voices and wept. She thought she had succeeded in convincing them not to go back with her to Bethlehem, but they told her they would return with her to her people.

Naomi had lost all hope. She didn’t see any way she could help these daughters-in-law if they went with her to Bethlehem. Therefore, she presented to them the hopeless situation all of them were in: “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? Turn back, my daughters, go—for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, would you wait for them till they were grown? Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me!” (Verses 11-13 New King James Version).

Naomi’s words were discouraging. She stated the reality on the ground without considering the God-factor. She even blamed God for her misfortune. Naomi was quite older than her daughters-in-law, and her words didn’t give them hope in the foreign country they had decided to go with her, to continue their life after losing their husbands.

Naomi lost all hope and communicated the same to Orpah and Ruth. They lifted their voices and wept again. Orpah made a painful decision. She kissed her mother-in-law and went back to her people. But strangely, Ruth clung to Naomi. Even when Naomi told her to follow her sister-in-law who had gone back to her people and her gods, Ruth insisted she would go with Naomi. Ruth was not moved by her discouraging words about their future in Bethlehem.

Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me” (Ruth 1:16-17 New King James Version).

Ruth did exactly what she said and God honoured her faith. It turned out later that Naomi was wrong that there was no future for herself or her daughters-in-law in Bethlehem. They had a bright future despite the sorrow of the past.

So badly affected by the loss of her husband and two sons, Naomi’s words when she returned to Bethlehem showed again that she had lost all hope. Ruth 1:19-20 says, Now the two of them went until they came to Bethlehem. And it happened, when they had come to Bethlehem, that all the city was excited because of them; and the women said, ‘Is this Naomi?’ But she said to them, ‘Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?’” (New King James Version).

Nevertheless, God had a good plan for her and Ruth. He visited them and turned their mourning into dancing. All was not lost after all. God did a new thing for them (Isaiah 43:18-19). Their story had a happy ending. So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, ‘Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel!  And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.’ Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, ‘There is a son born to Naomi.’ And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David” (Ruth 4:13-17 New King James Version). Note the phrase “There is a son born to Naomi.” Naomi never thought or believed this was possible after all that had happened to her. But Naomi carried and nursed a child again.

Don’t lose hope. Your miracle is on the way. Naomi had a son (through Ruth), Obed. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king” (Matthew 1:5-6a New King James Version). David was from the tribe of Judah. Jesus came from the tribe of Judah.

No matter what you are going through in life, don’t lose hope. Let your hope be in God. “Why, my soul, are you downcast?  Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:11 New International Version). Let your hope be in God (Psalms 39:7; 146:5). The writer of Psalm 71 says, For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth” (verse 5 New International Version).

Many people don’t put their hope in God, especially when things are going well, forgetting that things do change, sometimes unexpectedly, and such people are devastated. Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:17,Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (New International Version).

Why should anyone put his hope in wealth that is uncertain? Put your hope in God, not in wealth. David says, Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 62:5-6 New International Version).

Put your hope in the Word of God; don’t forget His promises. Psalm 130:5 says, I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope” (New International Version). The writer of Psalm 119 says,You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word” (verse 114 New International Version). Also, Psalm 119:81 says, “My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word” (New International Version). Don’t lose hope. Put your hope in the Word of God. Study it and meditate on it, day and night. Speak it to yourself, confess it, and pray the Word of God back to Him. It will give you hope.

Don’t lose hope. God knows the plans He has for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, and plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).  Micah 7:7 says, “But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me” (New International Version).

Don’t lose hope in any situation. The writer of Psalm 71 says, “As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more” (verse 14 New International Version). Note the phrase “I will always have hope.” Always have hope. Don’t lose hope. As Romans 12:12 says, be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.

Even when the situation seems hopeless, be hopeful. Hope against hope (Romans 4:18). Isaiah 40:31 says those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint. Don’t lose hope.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 says, “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls —yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills” (New King James Version). Don’t lose hope.

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and cannot save yourself, and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Father, You are my hope; I will put my hope in You and Your Word. Holy Spirit, help me not to lose hope no matter my situation.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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